By: PAMELA SCOTT JOHNSON Staff Writer
January 8, 2013
GOODY, Ky. — If you haven’t been inside the main dining area of the Thoroughbred Steak House located beside the Southside Mall at Goody, Ky., then you’re in for a treat during your next visit. The horse theme that had been painted several years ago by local artist, Vera Kay, is now being redone in a Hatfield and McCoy Feud scheme that is turning out beautifully and capturing a lot of attention.
Vera Kay is a lifelong resident of the Tug Valley area, and now resides in her childhood home at New Camp, Ky. where she recalls wonderful memories of growing up there with her siblings. Her father is now deceased and her mother’s health has declined greatly, which makes her home mean even more to her than ever before.
“My father was a very skilled wood craftsman and mom began painting and drawing when I was in high school,” stated Vera. “I truly think that if mom would have dedicated time to her hobby at a younger age, she would have enjoyed a prosperous art career. But, I know that even though she found her passion later in life, she thoroughly enjoyed it and I know that I inherited my love for what I do from both of them.”
Vera is the proud mother of two sons, Jason and Nick, and said that although they do not draw or paint, they have always been avid supporters of her work. She has been drawing since she was old enough to hold a pencil, and remembers selling her art work when she was in elementary school. Now, she has paintings and drawings that hang in homes across the United States and recently sold one to an individual that resides in Paris, France.
“I always feel honored and blessed each and every time I sell a piece of my art,” remarked Vera. “There’s nothing more satisfying to me than seeing someone fall in love with a piece of my work. There’s no words to describe how that makes me feel.”
Vera has been painting and sketching scenes and sites from the Hatfield and McCoy feud, along with portraits of those involved, long before the influx of attention and notoriety came about following the release of the Hatfield and McCoy mini-series that starred Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton.
“The Hatfield and McCoy feud has always fascinated me, and it is such an important part of our history and heritage that I began working on portraits and other related pieces years ago. After the mini-series aired, I was thrilled with the renewed interest in my art. I sold them pieces following the movie than I’d ever imagined,” said the artist.
Vera’s portrait of Randall McCoy now grace’s the historical marker placed outside the Matewan Depot placed there by the WD Department of Highways, after they contacted the artist and told her that they had been searching for a likeness of McCoy to use on the marker, as well as others that would be placed at other feud sites in Southern WV. They chose Vera’s above all others.
“I was so excited when I got the news,” stated Vera. “I was honored to hear that my portrait of Randall McCoy was the one they had selected.”
The masterpieces she is currently creating at the Thoroughbred Steakhouse is still a work in progress, with the Hatfield side done and approximately 1/3 of the McCoy wall has been completed. She hopes to have this portion of the project completed by the end of February. Speculation is that Vera will more than likely be commissioned to create additional feud scenes on the walls in the smaller dining room as well, along with a Hatfield and McCoy logo that will be painted on the exterior of the restaurant.
Vera has completed numerous portraits for local families and individuals throughout the past years, and does most of these as pencil drawings. She can take subjects from different photos and draw them all together, for a “one-of-a-kind” creation.
“I’m working on one right now of a coal miner and his son,” said the artist. “I always work with my customers to assure they get the finished product that they wanted.”
Vera offers drawings and paintings in several different sizes and forms ranging from post cards to art that can be hung or displayed in an easel. Her art pieces can be viewed and purchased on her website, www.verakayart.net. She may also be contacted by calling 606-237-0024.
Vera is inviting all area artists that would like to display their products and sell their creations to either contact her or the office of the Southside Mall (606-237-1200), concerning an art show that will be at the mall on Feb. 16th.
“Come out and be a part of our art show, or if you’re interested in purchasing an item or seeing what our local talented artists have to offer, make plans to stop by the mall on Feb. 16th. I’m sure that you will find something to fit your taste and your budget.”